Creamy Risotto-Style Farro with Fennel & Mushrooms

        From the blog For Love of the Table
3 T. olive oil
1/2 small onion, cut in a 1/3-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut in a 1/3-inch dice
1 small (1/2 medium) bulb of fennel, trimmed and cut in a 1/3-inch dice
1/2 T. picked thyme, chopped
1 large clove garlic, halved or quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 c. semi-pearled farro (rinsed)
2 1/2 c. hot chicken stock (or water)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, quartered and sautéed in some olive oil or butter until tender and caramelized
1 T. butter
2 to 3 T. minced parsley

In a wide saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and fennel along with a pinch of salt and sweat until tender—about 10 minutes.   Add the garlic and thyme and continue to cook until fragrant.   Add the farro and continue to cook and stir until the farro is well-coated in the fat, lightly toasted and hot through—about 3 minutes.  Add the stock, along with some salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, until tender but still firm in the center—about 25 minutes. Let the farro rest, covered, off of the heat for minute or two.

Return the pan to the heat, add the mushrooms, butter and parsley. Stir until the dish is creamy. Taste and correct the seasoning. Serve immediately. Serves 2 to 3 as an entrée; serves 4 as a side.

Note: If there is an excessive amount of liquid (more than a few tablespoons) left in the pan after the farro is cooked, drain the farro. Return the cooked farro to the pan, along with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the liquid and proceed with the recipe.